Within certain areas of healthcare, it has been documented that treating patients with compassion and empathy can have important benefits, such as increasing patient satisfaction, enhancing adherence to treatment, and improving clinical outcomes (e.g., Beach, et al., 2006; Hojat et al., 2011; Weiss et al., 2017). Treating oneself and others with compassion is also believed to promote individual wellbeing and improve mental health (e.g. McClelland, et al., 2018; Neff, 2011; Scarlet et al., 2017). While current empirical support for these outcomes is mixed (Kirby, Tellegen & Steindl, 2017), there is increasing scientific interest in the benefits of compassion. That broad-based interest notwithstanding, the data-driven field of behavior analysis has only recently begun to advocate for the importance of relationship variables that could positively impact our work (e.g., Taylor, LeBlanc & Nosik, 2018; Leblanc, Taylor & Marchese, 2019). This presentation reviews survey data documenting parent perception of compassionate care by behavior analysts, as well as behavior analysts’ impressions of training in this area. Behavioral responses that may comprise compassionate care will be presented, along with considerations for how compassionate care of our clients and ourselves can enhance our work as behavior analysts and potentially improve clinical outcomes.
BCBAs, BCBA-Ds, BCaBAs, supervisors and trainers of behavior analysts, autism specialists.
Dr. Bridget A. Taylor is co-founder and CEO of Alpine Learning Group and is Senior Clinical Advisor for Rethink. She holds a Doctorate of Psychology from Rutgers University, and received her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education from Columbia University. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Licensed Psychologist. Dr. Taylor is President of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and serves on the Autism Advisory Group for the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies. She is past Associate Editor for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. She also serves on the editorial board of Behavioral Interventions. Active in the autism research community, Dr. Taylor has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on effective interventions for autism. She is a national and international presenter and serves in an advisory capacity for autism education and treatment programs both locally and abroad. Dr. Taylor was recently recognized by the Association for Applied Behavior Analysis International for her outstanding contributions to behavior analysis and was given ABAI’s Fellow designation.